Welcome to Cheese School

Accelerate your innovation with our NZMP cheesemakers

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Explore insights, know-how and inspiration for your next cheese innovation 

NZMP Cheese School is a programme designed by our expert cheesemakers to accelerate your innovation in processed cheese and natural cheese. 

Access decades of first-hand experience with expert tips, covering the entire spectrum of making a particular format of cheese. We will also share the latest market insights and product concepts to help you stay ahead of the competition.

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Meet the team supporting your innovation journey

Craig Honore

Cheese Technical Expert

Craig is our expert cheese technologist with an impressive 42-year career - joining the NZ Dairy Group in 1980 and the NZ Dairy Research Institute in 1991. During his tenure, he has held various positions, including managing the Waitoa Natural Cheese Plant for six years.

With experience in most cheese types and cheese foods applications, Craig has worked on NPD projects in various markets, notably Japan, China, Korea, and the UK. He has also played a significant role in developing new cheese types like TAUPO, Cheddar san, Cheddar J, Superfunctional Cheddar 900, Noble Cheddar, and Reduced Salt Savoury Cheddar. He was extensively involved in the development of new Mozzarella types and the transformational IQF Mozzarella

He has been a judge at the NZ Cheese Awards for many years and has judged at Nantwich in the UK.

Mukta Batra

Category Marketing Manager

Mukta is a highly experienced marketer with over 25 years of experience in FMCG and B2B marketing. She has held both global and local roles in marketing and innovation, specialising in snack foods, paediatric, and dairy categories.

She joined Fonterra in 2009 and has since worked on both Fonterra's global consumer brands and NZMP. As the cheese category marketing manager since 2018, she has been responsible for leading the marketing strategy for Fonterra's cheese category. Her expertise extends to a wide range of markets, including Japan, Korea, China, South East Asia, and the USA, where she has helped drive growth and profitability through her strategic thinking and deep understanding of consumers.

Michael Hii

Regional Technical Manager

Michael Hii is responsible for the technical servicing that supports NZMP customers’ continued business growth in the region. He is a dairy innovation practitioner with more than 15 years of successful new product development and commercialisation track records in both B2C and B2B. He was part of the Fonterra global R&D team who designed world-leading specialty protein ingredients such as functional MPC and WPC for sports nutrition, healthy ageing and medical nutrition.

Michael is passionate about partnering with customers to innovate dairy product solutions that meet the ever-increasing consumer’s expectations of health benefits, functional performance, taste and affordability. He brings a broad range of experience and expertise, including end-to-end consumer product design, product and process quality trouble-shooting, applications know-how and pipeline/project management.

Karena Chia

Insights and Market Activation Manager

Karena is a seasoned marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in developing insights to drive strategic decisions regarding brand, product and communications activities in Asia.

Joining Fonterra in 2016, she leads for marketing and brand activation for NZMP S&EA, generating new opportunities that support strategic priorities. She was instrumental in driving NZMP’s strong presence at Food Ingredients Asia and other tradeshows.

In 2019, Karena relocated to New Zealand to lead the development and execution of NZMP's Provenance Program. Spending time with our farmers and cows gave her fresh appreciation of Fonterra’s sustainability efforts and the advantages of New Zealand dairy.

Crystal Loh

Marketing Executive

Crystal is responsible for the development and implementation of the regional marketing roadmap for Ingredients in South and South East Asia. She leads customer engagements, manages our digital channels and supports events. She also collaborates with our reseller partners to help them become NZMP Brand Ambassadors in their markets.

In her role she has led innovation workshops, portfolio showcases, webcasts, and tradeshows. She leverages her knowledge of consumer insights and market trends to identify strategic opportunities for customers.

Along with B2B expertise, Crystal also has a strong foundation in brand and social media management. Most recently, she contributed to the launch of a B2C brand in Singapore as part of a cross-functional project team.

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In the meantime, here's more from our Dairy Foods team. 

Discover award-winning cheeses 

From New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards to International Cheese & Dairy Awards, NZMP cheeses have been recognised across different prestigious cheesemaking competitions. 

Most recently, our cheeses won Gold at the 2023 NZ Champions of Cheese Awards:   

  • NZMP Traditional Cream Cheese             
  • NZMP High Solids Cream Cheese             
  • NZMP Special Reserve Cheddar Bulk or large block cheddar
  • NZMP Epicure Bulk or large block cheddar
  • NZMP Brine Salt Gouda  Dutch Style Cheese     
PDF cover for NZMP Dairy Foods Ingredients Range Brochure

Explore our full Dairy Foods range

Download our NZMP Dairy Foods Ingredients range brochure today to discover more about our deep dairy expertise and unmatched processed cheese ingredients range.

Download Brochure

Not sure what ingredient is right for you?

Use our Processed Cheese Selector to find the best NZMP Ingredients to use for making your Processed Cheese
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